It is important that we approach God without condemnation; in other words, boldly, because, “if I regard iniquity in my heart, the Lord will not hear” (Psalm 66:18).
If I “regard iniquity in my heart,” it means that I come to God with a consciousness in my heart of something that condemns me. Every time I try to approach God with faith, Satan reminds me of something that is not right and that has not been dealt with—maybe a sin that has not been confessed, or, if it has been confessed, is still lingering because I have not claimed and received God’s forgiveness. I am therefore conscious of this thing in my heart all the time. And if I come with condemnation, I do not receive that for which I pray.
I must remove the consciousness of sin from within my heart. Basically, this is done by faith. “If we confess our sins,” the Scripture says, “He [God] is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness” (1 John 1:9). We cannot do anything about the sin problem except confess, repent, and trust God for the forgiveness and cleansing that He has promised us. After that, we must not go on worrying about our sins, because if we remain conscious of sin as we pray, God will not hear our prayers. As the Scripture says, “If I regard iniquity in my heart, the Lord will not hear.”
Yet the psalmist went on to say, “But certainly God has heard me” (Psalm 66:19). In other words, the psalmist rises above Satan’s attempt to condemn him and says, “God has heard me.” Why does God hear us? Because we come in the name of Jesus. Because we come with praise and thanksgiving. Therefore, we are not condemned.